Why building the Verticale?
In a world characterised by global competitiveness and ecological constraints, companies tend to value geographical proximity and complementarity, be they geographical or linked to development differences. Conversely, States must take into account solidarities imposed by common interest issues (safety, migration, climate change).
North/South great regions are strengthening under the pressure of the economy, taking the form of “crescents”, in which developed and ageing northern countries (United States, Europe, China and Japan) cooperate with young and developing countries (Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, Africa, Latin American, ASEAN countries). This new cooperation causes many changes regarding paradigms (centre/periphery), programmes (answering the various needs of southern countries and approaches favouring regional integration and transversality), methods (”bottom up” method, with co-construction principle), and behaviour (win/win partnership spirit). From this assessment, the building of a great Africa-Mediterranean-Europe region seems obvious.
On 10th and 11th April 2015, Panama hosted the 7th Summit of the Americas. It was a good opportunity for public reconciliation between the United States and Cuba but also for political and economic negotiations encouraging North/South economic integration in a win/win spirit favouring sharing and co-development. In October 2014, China created the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was launched in January 2015 and shows a phenomenon of regional structuring.
To cope with short-termism and the absence of global regulation, the European Union, the Arab League and the African Union must strengthen and accelerate their integration, towards sustainable and inclusive economic growth as well as cultural and political influence.
For even though Europe succeeded its regional integration within the European Union (EU) (75% of exchanges are intra-European - while ASEAN reaches 54% of intra-regional exchanges and NAFTA 48%), it failed in the economic integration of its southern neighbours and especially of the Mediterranean basin, by focusing its efforts on Central and Eastern Europe (€260/inhabitant in the East against €13 in the South in average). Besides, the European Neighbourhood Policy, by favouring help over investment, always remains in a centre/periphery relationship. European DFI towards Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMC) do not exceed 2% while American DFI towards Latin American reach 15% and that of Japan towards its southern neighbours reached 20%.
Therefore, a diversification of strategic and commercial partnerships competes with close political and economic bonds that united SEMC to Europe (Gulf Cooperation Council, South-South cooperation, China’s presence in Africa, etc.) and could ruin regional integration.
At the same time, SEMC as well as the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are reinforcing their presence in Africa via investments, commercial and diplomatic relations and the presence of large diasporas, highlighting the central role of the Mediterranean in the great Africa-Mediterranean-Europe region.